FAS Next Steps

February 22, 2022

To: FAS Faculty

Cc: SEAS Faculty, FAS Dean’s Office, FAS Steering, President’s Office, Provost’s Office, GSAS Dean’s Office, Yale College Dean’s Office, FAS and SEAS staff, Faculty Research Management Services, Human Resources, Office of Development, Office of Faculty Administrative Services, Office of Public Affairs and Communication, University Registrar’s Office, Yale Alumni Association, Yale Alumni Magazine

Dear FAS faculty:

Today’s news represents a transformative moment for the FAS.

During my term as dean, I have heard from many of you – in conversations with the FAS Faculty Senate, in department chair meetings, Faculty Resource Committee meetings, Yale College faculty meetings, meetings of the Joint Boards of Permanent Officers, and formal and informal conversations in a range of venues – that Yale needs to invest in its faculty. Today’s announcement documents two such investments. First, it increases the ladder faculty headcount in the FAS/SEAS by 45. Second, it offers FAS and SEAS faculty leaders a more direct role in institutional governance.

The administrative shifts announced today place oversight of our budgets and resources directly in the hands of the FAS. This new level of authority and autonomy positions us to decide where we want to build and grow in accord with our FAS mission and the university’s strategic vision. It will permit us to devote resources to the scholarly and pedagogical areas that we most wish to prioritize, and will position us to work together as a community of faculty in imagining and building our future.

Over the next half decade, the FAS will undertake more ladder faculty recruitment than ever in our history, and will continue to hire and support extraordinary instructional faculty. Our expanded autonomy over faculty slots and budgets will allow us to distribute investments strategically across all three divisions (science, social science, and humanities) in the coming years. We will be able to devote new resources to the pursuit of foundational scientific discoveries, to understanding the challenges faced by our society and communities, and to advancing humanistic inquiry and critical thought on who we are and what we might become. We will be able to continue our investments in our current faculty and staff, and to welcome new colleagues who will bolster our historic strengths and expand our reach.

In the coming weeks, I look forward to consulting with FAS Science faculty, in particular, as I appoint a committee to help me select the next FAS Dean of Science. This important leader will help cultivate and sustain our investments in the biological and physical sciences, and will work closely with the Dean of SEAS, as well as with the rest of the FAS leadership team, to realize our broad ambitions. In the coming months and years, I look forward to working with all FAS faculty to imagine and work towards an ambitious future for the FAS.

With excitement for our work together,


Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy
Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Scie